Note: This review is from the 2023 Fringe

Sassy, snappy, hilarious, and at times shocking – this musical one-woman show is fun and insightful.

Already a rising star on the US comedy scene, Greta Titelman is making her debut Fringe appearance with ‘Exquisite Lies,’ an intimate, gossipy and at times, toe-curling romp through the dramas of her teenage years and early adulthood. Many of these dramas required and involved consummate lying, hence the show’s title .

From the very first minute, the audience are taken into her confidence; we become her co-conspirators as her life starts to spiral out of control. From her three boyfriends in 8th grade, to a knife-throwing parlour and a vodka-swigging Mom, Greta takes the audience on a roller-coaster journey via frat parties in Arizona, dating bankers in New York City, and even attending an STD clinic.  There is lots of sex and drugs, with a sprinkling of rock ‘n’ roll. The narrative is concise and sharp, especially her sartorial descriptions.  The delivery is well-paced, conversational, and engaging.

Woven into this compelling and often shocking narrative are a series of songs though which Titelman showcases her wide vocal range and strong musicality. This lady can really sing, and these varied songs aptly fit the material. The music adds another dimension, elevating the show from being pure stand-up.

Titelman is fairly diminutive in stature, dressed all in black, resembling a sort of American Patsy Kensit, and her appearance gives an initial impression of someone who is understated, almost demure. This is a deliberate and successful contrast to the show’s content, Titelman’s big personality, and her sizzling and infectious energy.  As the narrative  progresses, the stories get ever funnier, the situations ever wilder and more shocking, but Titelman’s convincing and expressive acting continues to enthrall. Many of the situations are extraordinary, outrageous; and obviously exaggerated. We are left wondering how much of it, if any, is in fact  – true?!

‘Greta Titelman’s Exquisite Lies’ runs until Sun 27 Aug 2023 at Pleasance Courtyard – Upstairs at 20:10